I received this email the other day. I believe this sums many of the issues we face in athletic development today:
"I recently attended a sports specific conference not a personal trainer type of one. Left disappointed. Conference presenters and attendees were primarily college and professional coaches not personal trainers. But, I ended up getting two days of hearing that bilateral squatting is bad for the back and that step ups cause knee pain (presenter), "we have everyone power clean" (presenter and attendees), we use the FMS (presenter and MANY attendees) and one presenter, in particular, was worshipped by many. I left disappointed. I felt like I just attended a personal trainer type conference! One attendee when asked what is the first thing he does with a new athlete said "I take them through the FMS." We also got to go through stations standing on BOSU balls, foam rolling, using the Core X, using some type of TRX band, etc. It was basically a personal trainer/boot camp circuit. Waste of time to me.”
There are so many obvious questions that no one seems willing to ask. Maybe they are not so obvious. It seems we have arrived at a total monkey see, monkey do stage in the athletic development profession. If one guru says something then everyone are like a bunch of bobble head dolls quickly nodding their heads in affirmation without even stopping to think or question.
These are my questions based on what I am seeing and hearing. Here goes:
Why does everyone have to power clean? Aren’t there any viable alternatives?
Why not back squat?
With more emphasis on so-called “corrective exercise” why do we have more injuries than ever before?
Why movement prep what is wrong with warm-up?
What does the functional movement screen really tell you?
Is the body fundamentally symmetric?
I ask these questions not to be provocative or argumentative but to get legitimate answers, not the party line answers and platitudes. Why are you doing what you are doing? Are you doing it because it is what everyone else is doing? Is what you are doing best for your athletes? Does it fit the sport demands and the athlete’s level of development and training age? Folks there are years of experience by many people, not just myself, that lead to this questions. All you young coaches out there take a step back and look in mirror and ask yourself - why? Ask yourself where is this information coming from? What are they trying to sell? Does it really work or you doing it because some "expert" told you it would work. Think critically don’t just change the flavor of the Kool-Aid or buy the next DVD.